Singapore – The cases of PMD-related road accidents are increasing so rapidly that citizens and the government are considering banning these personal mobility devices.
Two months ago, a 70-year-old woman was almost run over by a PMD rider who passed her too closely.
More recently, a 65-year-old woman who was getting her mail at the void deck of her residence got hit by an e-scooter and was sent to the hospital.
In March, an e-scooter crashed into a PMD rider after beating a red light at Pasir Ris.
Incidents such as these have alerted several MPs to call for a ban of PMDs on void decks and footpaths.
MP Murali Pillai (Bukit Batok SMC) and Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC) are pushing for the prohibition of PMDs in void deck spaces while Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) and Ms Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC) are calling for the devices to be banned on footpaths.
On May 7, Senior Minister of State for Transport, Lam Pin Min, said that the decision to ban PMDs in such areas should be left to the communities’ respective town councils. They can decide to formulate their own rules or ban PMDs altogether for the sake of public safety.
Dr Lam Pin Min noted that banning PMDs from footpaths and restricting their access on roads would create a bigger risk to the riders and other motorists. However, the speed limit for PMDs and bicycles on footpaths was lowered to 10kmh from 15kmh in February to promote safety.
Meanwhile, citizens have mixed reactions towards the prohibition of PMDs on the proposed areas.
According to The New Paper who spoke to residents at Lorong 4 Toa Payoh which is a hub for PMD users, not all were for the banning of the device.
There were still people who consider the alternative, putting PMDs on roads, to be a more dangerous option. “If we don’t let them onto pedestrian pathways, where will they go?” asked a certain Chris Choo.
Others suggested establishing a dedicated PMD path for riders to heighten everyone’s safety.
Feedback from the online community indicates that netizens are more inclined to having PMDs completely banned.
While a certain Peter Tay agrees that having a dedicated path for mobility devices and bicycles would be the best solution, he knows that this would be a costly endeavour.
Others are asking for more action instead of discussions.
Mohamad Syahid Bin Arif gave some suggestions including a safety riding course for PMD riders, insurance and periodic safety checks.
Paul Hooi gave his comment below:
For now, it is up to government authorities, the town councils and the general public to come up with the best course of action and to uphold public safety, respectively. -/TISG